Sudden GH/KH drop? Shrimp Death and Snail Shell Deterioration - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Sudden GH/KH drop? Shrimp Death and Snail Shell Deterioration

I have a 25g Walstad cube: Nearly 1.5 years old. Dirt, capped with something maybe sand or some tiny crushed clay flourite.

I had a bunch of little bugs and even hydra but I haven't spotted a hydra for a long time.

Half of the tank is a super healthy Monte Carlo carpet, the rest of the tank is packed with Crypt, rotala, java fern and an anubia. I don't dose ferts.

Lights are two CFL's in cheap domes.

The filter is a small internal filter with a mechanical sponge just to move water. I squeeze it out every few weeks. I usually top off any evaporated water every 2 weeks and remove and replace about 2-4 gallons every other top off. Water treated with Prime.

Water parameters per non calibrated API master kit: PH 7.4-7.6 (using regular and high test), Ammonia 0, Nitritite 0, Nitrate I guess 5 ppm. GH 6* KH 2*
Temp - constant 74*

After this tank was running for 6 months or so and seeing a constant 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite 5 Nitrate, I stopped checking the parameters, probably has been a year.

I have Rili shrimp, amano shrimp, a nerite snail, golden mystery snail and a ton of MTS and Ramshorn.

I feed Hikari algae wafers, Hikari shrimp food, random shrimp food from Han Aquatics and sometimes fish flakes - I was feeding 2x per day until my current issues started.

I started with around 20-30 Rili shrimp a year ago. They were breeding, but not 100's turning into 1000's like I hear others get. Recently, I noticed a quick decrease in baby/juvi shrimp, then less and less adult shrimp. I decreased feeding and was going on vacation for a week so did a 7.5g WC and instructed the care taker to feed minimally and every other day. I went from around 100 rili shrimp to probably 20-30 today within the past 3-4 months.

I noticed that the small (oldest) part of my golden mystery snails shell was starting to deteriorate and it's gotten pretty bad over the past few weeks. I've removed it from the tank to a container of tank water to feed it a piece of a tums, blanched kale, and blanched spinach but it isn't very interested.

This week one of my amano's (who I've had for a good year or so) died within days of a molt. It was pretty red after the molt, while still alive. Not sure why?

I'm assuming that my issue is TDS (I dont have a meter) and or low GH and KH .

What can I do, considering this is a dirted tank, with no filter and I prefer to keep it LOW maintenance once this issue is addressed? I do not intend on adding a real filter or doing weekly water changes on a long term basis. Looking for any advise to help get my shrimp population back and thriving... and save my snail.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 05:23 AM
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Sorry to hear about your problems. What is your current KH and GH?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 06:07 AM
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Have you changed your source water at all? (tap to RO?)


Has your source water changed at all? (city or building with new regulations?)
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 07:51 AM
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What does source water for top offs have for GH compared to tank water?
I suspect the mineral's calcium/magenesium needed for shell development on snail's and molting of shrimp has drifted downward too much with no replenishment via water changes or product such as equilibrium (might try this).
Old tank syndrome could be player.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukydaf View Post
Sorry to hear about your problems. What is your current KH and GH?

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Current GH 5* KH 2*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
Have you changed your source water at all? (tap to RO?)


Has your source water changed at all? (city or building with new regulations?)
I always use tap treated with prime.

I have public water - they frequently add and blend wells to keep quality as high as possible. Suffolk County on Long Island, NY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
What does source water for top offs have for GH compared to tank water?
I suspect the mineral's calcium/magenesium needed for shell development on snail's and molting of shrimp has drifted downward too much with no replenishment via water changes or product such as equilibrium (might try this).
Old tank syndrome could be player.
UPDATE:
Golden snail died in holding jar container :/

Received TDS meter in mail, haven't calibrated but it read distilled at 0.

Tank: GH 5*, KH 2*, TDS 251
Tap Source: GH 5*, KH 2*, TDS 123

Just did a 5 gallon WC and brought tank TDS down to 181 then cleaned mechanical filter - Will check tank TDS in a few days and do another WC to bring TDS a little lower.

Considering the rapid deterioration of my golden snail's shell and the dead amano after molt, I assume that my calcium is still low even though GH isn't super low. Can anyone recommend any other steps? Should I consider a minderal Supplement to raise up GH and calcium? Would I be better off adding some crushed coral or baked egg shells? Please keep in mind, I don't run a chemical or biological filter.

Last edited by powerplay85; 10-25-2016 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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bump
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 10:37 PM
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The difference in TDS given you do not dose ferts may show that you need to increase the water change frequency. I say may show because many good, neutral or negative things can increase the TDS. Which one is in your case, is hard to guess from TDS alone. Regardless, I had RCS breeding in low TDS (60-80) and in high TDS (300+). What does that say about TDS as a decision making tool ?

I have found snails do better at higher KH (6-7). Granted most of my recent aquariums have rather high levels of CO2 which is also detrimental to snails' shell health. If I were to start troubleshooting, I would go with the KH, next increase water change freq. . If you like ready made mixed Seachem Alkaline buffer will increase the KH and Seachem Equilibrium will increase GH. An increase in KH will also increase the base pH. If you are more into DIY, NaHCO3 (baking soda) will increase your KH , MgSO4 (epsom salt) and CaSO4 (gypsum) will increase GH.

Make all changes slowly over days. Do not just from KH2 to KH 10 in one day. Better give them some time to adapt and observe any changes.

Hope this helped
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Wanted to share a pic of my tank too. Ordered seachem equalibrium to raise my gh a bit and keep checking tds to keep under 200 ppm. Going to hold off on increasing kh because my pH is slightly high at 7.6.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 02:14 PM
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I'm not a shrimp guy so factor that in? Many people fight the idea of adding rocks which may change the water. I understand that, but I also see there are times when we try to defeat nature and lose. I like to go with nature when it works. Rather than doing a constant job of adding GH/KH with additives, would there be value in putting some stone like limestone in the tank? It seems that the limestone would be exactly right for adding the GH/KH that you seem to need. But the most value to me would be the very slow steady way it would be added. You have reasonably high PH so I would not expect it to be a dramatic nor quick change. Stone takes hundreds of years to degrade when outside, even in areas where we get heavy acid rain.
Just a thought on something that would require far less work?
Maybe a solution could be as simple as picking a few hand sized rocks off the rip-rap along a highway?
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